2020-12-06 - On The Slow Train To Fate

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Title: On the Slow Train to Fate

Yumi and Mikoto get on the train to the International Film Festival, and discuss a most important topic: birthdays.


Yumi Ohzora, Mikoto Minagi


A train carriage, Tokyo

OOC - IC Date:

2020-12-6 - 2020-10-17

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Today is the Tokyo International Film Festival, and one Yumi Ohzora was planning to go. She has a general interest in movies in the first place, though her work with AoAka has opened her eyes to the more technical aspects of the works. And that's all well and good, and she was planning to go herself... But...

>Are you busy today?

That's how it started. Or more appropriately, it started back at Infinity when Yumi had to drop by her dorm after class before heading out, and took a few to sit down. But the upshot is that Yumi asked Mikoto to join her, glad that Mikoto couldn't see the sting of needing to in the first place. Not that she minds Mikoto being around, or anything...

But after midterms, she's really out of energy and feeling kind of terrible.

That was then, however. Now...

They are lucky* enough that Yumi has a seat on the train on their way out! This at least is one of the less crowded routes at the moment, in relative terms. That is to say it's only very full instead of completely packed like sardines. Yumi has her bag in her lap, having changed into a nice knee-length dress in pale pink, and a brown jacket along with teal tights and some boots. She did change out of her uniform, since she had the time.

* Mikoto happened.

So, looking a little terrible, Yumi offers Mikoto a lopsided smile as the train goes on. "Thanks," she says. I know I already said that, but..."

She might've had to lean on Mikoto a little on the way over.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

> Nope!!!!!

Mikoto's text messages all have about that many exclamation marks these days. She figured out where the punctuation was hiding, and now she is unstoppable.

Mikoto, strangely, might have just as good a sense for what train lines are crowded as Yumi does, if for different reasons. The sensory experience of being on a packed train when one has senses quite this sharp is... well, let's not dwell on that, except to say that it is most likely the reason Mikoto has access to a high-level train technique.

Bullying people out of her space.

She's perched on the aisle, giving Yumi plenty of space to exist without getting pinned in the corner. This might give commuters the idea that there is room for someone else to sit in the row, but every time one of them looks as though they might try it Mikoto gives them the most ferocious glare, and all a sudden their phones are much more fascinating to them.

This expression flees her face the minute she turns back to Yumi again. Yumi gets a bright smile, the same as she has each time she's needed to lean on her. (Mikoto is much shorter than Yumi, but also, much sturdier. It works out.) "It's okay!" She chirps, sounding completely unbothered by that trailing implication. "'Cause this is something Yumi wants to do, right? So it's good!"

Her ear twitches, and she briefly looks away to glare at someone else shifting too close before she looks back to Yumi again.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.


Much like Mikoto's train technique, and it occurs to Yumi as she thinks about it that very thing about Mikoto having a reason to be good at it. She doesn't dwell on it either, though she is kind of embarrassed by the trouble. She gives people apologetic looks now and then but it's hard to stay bothered when it's Mikoto making space for her. She has such bright smiles!

"Okay," Yumi answers. "I thought about asking Hana-chan too, but she's probably pretty busy..."

But just Mikoto is more than fine, and Yumi reaches out to take her hand for a moment, squeezing fingers. "Well! It should be fun, there's a lot that's going to be there. And there's subtitles so if you don't understand what they're saying it's fine." She bites her lip, thinks.

"Just one of those days, I guess. It gets a little worse this time of year sometimes. Not sure why. You should've seen--" Pause. "Nnnevermind. That would've been gross."

"...Do you know I actually kinda like trains? I mean, I like the long-travel ones better because they're less crowded, but even so. I don't even mind them being kinda full of people except that my stomach would definitely mind right about now."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Maybe next time," Mikoto assures her, because Mikoto knows how disappointing it can be when someone is busy.

She squeezes back! Gently, though, because she knows Yumi bruises easily at times like these. (Well, that's how Mikoto thinks of it, anyway.) "Oh!" She smiles, sounding relieved, at the mention of subtitles. International means foreign languages, and, well...

... don't ask how Mikoto's English midterms went. She didn't do much better when there wasn't a monster interrupting it.

She cants her head, as Yumi starts only to cut herself off, but after a quizzical look she leaves it by the wayside. Instead, she wonders: "... is it 'cause it's getting colder?" Yumi is pretty cold at the best of times, so it makes sense to Mikoto that she'd have a hard time when the world got colder too.

Listening to Yumi's opinion on trains, Mikoto grunts affirmation, head tilting the other way. And then jerking to the side so she can glare out of the corner of her eye at someone jostling close in an attempt to get her attention. They got her attention! Luckily, they lose it a moment later as they decide to lurk by another seat instead.

"Trains are a lot," she considers, once her attention is on Yumi again. "They're loud all around, and --" the greatest miracle of this world is Mikoto actually trying to be considerate of her friends, because for once she considers Yumi talking about being queasy and veers off to say, "-- and some other stuff!" She concludes, instead, brightly. "But if there's not so many people, it can be good."


"I like riding on top better though."

Of course she does.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Gently is good. So is relief! Yumi smiles a little at that, glad that that actually helps, like she'd hoped it would. She... has not asked about Mikoto's English midterms in specific. She sort of figures that if she wants to talk about grades more than they already have then she'll bring it up, and...


"Yeah," Yumi answers Mikoto's question. "The cold air's harder to breathe--it kinda... hurts. That might be all it is. Oh, and there's more bugs going around this time of year, so more chance I can pick something else up."

But trains! Trains, and--ah, another apologetic look from Yumi, who shrinks a little in her seat. It does not make her take up meaningfully less space, as tall as she is, taller than a lot of the boys in her class at this point.

"Yeah," Yumi says, "That's true too. And you have to put up with a lot on them when they're crowded," she admits. Some other stuff! Yumi is not sure what the other stuff is but has a feeling she dodged a bullet. Go Mikoto! "Yeah. Like, the Shinkansen's good."

Yumi laughs a little. "Yeah, that is more fun, huh? Flying over, too."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Harder to breathe...

Well, Mikoto can't help but think of Mai's own brother, here, and that's an unsettling thought which wavers her smile for a moment. And so, she focuses on the other part of that sentence, instead. "Yeah, people get sick more." Not so much Mikoto. Part of that, of course, is due to her wrinkle-nosed lament: "I don't like those shots."

(Mikoto at least doesn't tear up the doctor's office these days, but perhaps that's just due to Mai refining her strategy.)

"Oh, it's okay, Nao taught me how to deal with that," Mikoto says, cheerfully vague, on the topic of crowded trains. Her gaze tilts up, as she wonders. "Shinkansen's real fast... I wonder who's faster? Fate, or Shinkansen..."

It seems that even Mikoto can have imagine spots. Well, she did get a lot of practice at pretending, didn't she?

She's pulled from her burgeoning imagination, though, by something which clearly delights her. "Flying's the best!" Mikoto chirps, brightly. "Hey, why didn't we fly?" ... maybe Mikoto still isn't the best at not blurting out unfortunate things. She realises just why Yumi wouldn't want to fly a broom while she's feeling like this a moment later, to her credit, and hastens to add: "... oh, I guess it's daylight, huh?"

Which is A LIE, written entirely obviously on her face, but it's a lie which is meant to make Yumi feel better.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Yumi sure catches it. She doesn't want to bring Mikoto down, though, so instead she says, "And then when everybody's sick they get other people sick!" She focuses there, instead. Then, a small smile, a half-laugh. "Aw. Yeah, shots are kinda rough, huh?"

Yumi is rather accustomed to needles. For some reason.

"Oh, so she's where you learned the technique?" Yumi wonders. "That's impressive..." But the imagine spot--Yumi thinks about it, tilts her head.

"Probably Fate, but only if she's really trying," Yumi pronounces thoughtfully once she notices Mikoto thinking about it. Then--Ah. Flying...

"Yeah, flying's great, right?" Yumi agrees, and manages to conceal some of the awkwardness there. But it definitely stings a little, that particular blurt. Mikoto at least offers her a nice out...

"Y-yeah," Yumi answers. "Shouldn't go around during the day like that, when people can watch." Yumi accepts it, this time. At first. And then... She sighs. "...Be nice if that was the only reason, huh?"

Yumi shakes her head. "Anyway, this time of year isn't all bad. My birthday's coming up, and I think Mother won't be too busy this year."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"They hurt!" This might seem like a strange complaint, from someone who hurtles herself into the jaws of monsters, but the context of a nurse administering medicine is entirely differently to a battle.


There's an affirmative nod, and then another, as Yumi moves on to Fate. "Yup," Mikoto decides. "Fate goes real fast." The fact that girls wondering whether fate itself is faster than the Shinkansen is the best possible way to make the other commuters tune Mikoto and Yumi's fantasies out is, in fact, an entirely accidental precaution.

It's useful when talking about flying, though. Mikoto effortlessly saves the conversation--!!

Okay, no, even she can hear the way Yumi stammers over her reply, and she looks a little embarrassed about it all. This time, she finds Yumi's hand to give it another gentle squeeze. "Yeah," she agrees, a little more shaded.

That quiet doesn't last, though, as Yumi mentions birthdays. "Birthday!" She says, brightening right up. "Wow, Yumi's just like me! I never knew!" The words Mikoto says often carry heavier loads than they appear; she wasn't only ignorant of Yumi's birthday. Her head cants, and she queries: "Wanna do something with your mother then..?"

Mikoto doesn't say something like, 'there are better people than her to spend your birthday with'. Even though she has some suspicions... she's the last person who would criticise someone for wanting to spend time with family.

So she just asks.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Apparently so!! "Aw," Yumi says, and smiles again at Mikoto, one of those small ones that goes 'I get it'. She does not think about the fact that what they're saying would sound ridiculous to the people around them, because she only has so much mental space and she forgets about it. But, talking about flying could be rough! Until...

Quiet. Yumi's fingers are a little cold, but she curls them around Mikoto's for a moment anyway.

"Oh, am I?" Yumi asks, more brightly after Mikoto. But the question... Well. There are a lot of people Yumi could spend time with. She looks through the air a little, sort of distant a moment as she thinks.

"Well, in theory I'm having lunch with her. But that still leaves a lot of the day! Though I think there's a party later that night too--the Infinity Halloween party? And I wanted to go to that."

"...But maybe we can do something, too. Either before the party, or... Maybe we could go somewhere the next day, that Sunday. Maybe you and me and Eri, or something. I dunno."

"But I'm looking kinda forward to it anyway."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Yup! I'm November!" Mikoto sounds terribly proud that she can say that now. Her voice is warm like her fingers are warm, because the engine of Mikoto is always ready to leap into action.

(Maybe that's why it's so easy for her to bristle at normal things, like flu shots.)

And what Yumi wants to do...

Mikoto listens attentively, with those big gold eyes. "A party!" She affirms Yumi's desires, effortlessly. "I'll go, too!" This will surely go well. Mikoto has to have gone to a Halloween party before, right?

(She has not done that. ... well, all her free time until recently was spent on the search. There's a lot she didn't pay much attention to before now.)

Her smile gains a few more lumens as she adds: "Let's do something, Yumi! Together!" Her feet kick a little in the space between chairs; she's short enough that she can lift them off the ground without much effort, after all. "It should be a good day, right? So Yumi should get to spend as much time with people you love as you want." Her mother, and Eri, and Mikoto, and... and everyone at that party..?

Well, maybe more those first three.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Nice!" Yumi answers, and is glad Mikoto didn't turn out not to know after all despite all that. It would've been unfortunate. ...But bristling at normal things, that's okay. "October 31, for me. No joke."

Kind of perfect for a witch, right?

"Oh, great!" Yumi answers. "Then I'll see you there, too." Of course Mikoto has. Yumi doesn't even question it, doesn't even think of questioning it. Maaybe she should've. But with bright pink eyes she looks back at Mikoto, and beams back a little.

Yumi is too tall for kicking atm, but she is pretty happy with it!

"Yeah!" Yumi agrees. "That'd be really nice." A good day...

"...Last year I didn't have a lot of people to spend it with. Things kind of all fell through at the last minute, and I sort of didn't do anything except after. but now there's not just my school friends but you guys too..."

Definitely the first three, of all those.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto sees no reason to inform Yumi that she really didn't know, until recently. It wasn't necessary to her training to have a day focused on herself, when she could find her happiness in her Lord Brother.

... and yet, he's the one who told her, in the end.

These little things which carry her hope forward...

Well, there's no need to talk about them. She's interested in Yumi.

"That's... really soon!" Mikoto confirms, after a brief moment of arithmatic. Another moment, and... "... oh! It's party 'cause it's holiday, right?"

did mikoto forget about halloween

"That'll be fun!" Mikoto concludes, because holidays are fun.

And so she listens as Yumi speaks on her loneliness; things falling through. "That sounds hard," she sympathises, without pressing on the why. "But," she adds, with confidence, "this year will be different! Yumi's got lots more friends now! We'll make sure good stuff happens!"

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Yumi kind of assumed Mikoto didn't, at first. There's a lot she's likely missed out on...

"I didn't want to make a huge deal out of it or anything," Yumi admits on her birthday. "And yeah! Halloween. It's pretty important at Infinity, so I want to be sure to go."

It will be fun! Maybe not the same kind of fun they're both expecting but Yumi is optimistic there, and glad to have shifted topics in this direction, too. She reaches up to adjust her glasses as she talks, though, brushing some gray hair out of her eyes where it's started to fall there.

"Yeah," Yumi answers. "Exactly. This year will be different! ...Thanks, Mikoto-chan."

Good stuff....

"Oh! Speaking of, I think our stop is soon. I'm... feeling a little better," which is technically true.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"I don't really know how big a deal it's supposed to be," Mikoto admits, in turn. "But, Yumi's a big deal to me!" This affection she offers freely and without reservation, her love a wellspring.

With a look of wonder, she echoes, "It's important...? Okay!" If Halloween is that big of a deal, Mikoto had better make sure to know exactly what to do there.

She'll ask Mai for advice!

That can't possibly go wrong.

Mikoto hums bright affirmation, as Yumi agrees with her, only to blink as she brings up their stop. "Right!" She nods, and smiles. "Good! Let's enjoy movies, Yumi!"

Mikoto might not really be able to appreciate the fine art of film, but...

... she appreciates Yumi!!